Fruit trees & improvements


Extract from “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul Veverka

28 2008 Apple Tree by James BrownAround this same time (1859), the orchards were now more established in the fields at the north east end of the estate. There is still evidence of fruit trees in that area. Pictured  in March 2008, is an apple tree, which produces fruits every September.

A number of improvements were also implemented around the estate at this time. Complimenting the large extension, a number of repairs to walls were conducted, especially around the lade, and at the west bank of the River Calder, where “battlements” were added to the top of the wall, complimenting the design of the new extension.

Small tool sheds were added to the outside of the east Lodge house. Whilst on this subject, I found a map showing a well existed across the Turnpike road, directly across from the entrance lodge. However, I’ve not been able to see that in any recent year.

Additionally, James Clark added a westerly house, built on the estate which Clark named, “Glenrose.” The intention was for some of his servants to have their own privacy and paid lease or rent to him for that privilege. This private house still exists today.

A large maintenance and tool shed was added immediately behind the tower to the north west and below it on the lower terraces of the gardens, a large gardening building. I can’t call it a shed, as its horizontal imprint was as large as the Crossbasket Tower itself. This acted as storage for equipment and would be most likely used for potting the plants in the terraced gardens, which by the 1860’s were absolutely immaculate. Indeed the whole estate looked immaculate. The following picture, although taken by Sir Thomas Annan in 1870, shows the work that James Clark had done, not just on the extension to the right, but also on what effort the gardeners had put in by this time. The photo, representing the first actual photograph of Crossbasket Castle is also a good indication of how the Castle looked 11 years earlier when James Clark had finished making his improvements.

1870 Crossbasket from Scran1The photo is a favourite of mine. It shows off Crossbasket Castle to great effect. It truly looks magnificent at this time and I believe only with exception of the stunning renovation in 2015, the photo shows Crossbasket at its most beautiful.

Lillies in the river, safety railings, a statue on the stone steps leading to the garden, well built walls and dam on the river, a flagpole, well tended grass and gardens with wooden Summer seats to rest and enjoy. James Clark had well and truly put his mark on Crossbasket.


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